I recently recalled a story from back when I was in high school.
I was on the JV baseball team for Olympic High, and Chris Range was the head coach of that team, who taught Social Studies as well.
So one day, it was raining outside, and Mr. Range was running late due to teacher obligations; the team went into the utility gym that was set up to accommodate basketball, volleyball, and baseball when inclement weather occurred. We warmed up, pulled the nets out for battling practice (BP) and then we goofed off, treating it like a free day due to the downpour. School let out back then at 2:15, so you only had a good two hours or so to practice before you went home.
Mr. Range came into the gym, immediately saw us not taking practice very seriously without supervision, so he called us over to take a seat on the bleachers, smiling.
“What time is it?”
We answered him, “3:30”
Mr. Range, still smiling, asked us “So, it’s been about 30 minutes since practice started, what have you done to get better?”
Nobody on the team says anything.
Mr. Range continues, “Because I guarantee Providence isn’t sitting around goofing off. By now, Providence has warmed up, done BP, completed infield drills, done live game scenarios, etc.”
Providence High School was a team in our conference that was a perennial power in baseball.
He finishes by saying “You just lost 30 minutes, and that’s 30 minutes Providence spent becoming better than you.”
Needless to say, the message had a sobering effect in the room, and we got practice started.
As I recollect this memory, I think back to what Mr. Range was really trying to teach us. He could have just as easily came in that gym and cussed us out for being lackadaisical, slothful. But he sat us down, smiling, delivering a cold and chilling message, as calmly as possible. We wouldn’t have internalized the message if he just told us “stop being lazy”, but to paraphrase told us “someone right now is out-working you”.
This message has been on the forefront of my mind as of late because, the concept doesn’t stop in the realm of sports. Competition doesn’t go away; it is there in your current workplace, it is there when you apply for new jobs, when you are working on your independent business ventures, when you trying to pull the woman of your dreams, etc.
Every moment counts, every situation is dire, you must have a sense of urgency.
After certain events took place in my life, that sense of urgency weighed on my mind constantly. “How am I going to improve?”, “How can I better my family name”, “How can I leave something my son will be proud of?” “How can I give my son the best chance at life?”
Failure is not an option, and I let that hunger be the driving force for me. I stay up until 2AM many nights creating content, proofreading blogs, making sure the content isn’t stale, or wake up early to get in the gym at 6AM. I want to be the best possible Eric I can be. I want Inner Reign to be the best possible blog it can be. I don’t want to be wondering ‘what if I worked harder?’ when it’s all said and done.
So anytime you find yourself with some “free time”, ask yourself how you are getting better? There is always something to improve on.
Weather Your Storm, Maintain Inner Reign -E